Earlier this month, the staggeringly bad market performance of BuzzFeed managed to get even worse. Shares of the media company fell more than 40 percent on June 6, just days after the expiration of a lockup preventing company insiders from selling their stock.
BuzzFeed is now trading at just $1.68 — a decline of nearly 85 percent since the moment it went public on December 6 by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. It’s a startlingly poor return even by the low standards of SPACs, which have recently crashed en masse. Other media companies that had been planning similar maneuvers, from Vice to Forbes to Bustle, have abandoned their plans. Under pressure to be more profitable, the award-winning BuzzFeed newsroom — it won a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on mass detention camps in China — is shrinking via layoffs and buyouts.